Orlando, Florida is a place of magic and mystery. It was certainly a magical week for Doghead Simulations.
The Doghead Simulations team gathered in Florida for a momentous week. We have been a company for approximately 78 weeks and were now preparing to open our very own office. For the past year and a half, we have worked remotely, from home or co-working spaces, across the globe. From Seattle to Orlando, to Sao Paolo, Brazil, and even New Zealand, we met and worked inside virtual reality.
For many of the Doghead team, it was their first time meeting each other outside of virtual reality. That didn’t seem to stop the instantaneous “click” the team members felt. We’ve seen each other’s avatars countless times. Voices, hand gestures, and head movements are natural in rumii. When we saw our human selves it was as if we were old comrades building the future of communication.
November 16, 2017, we formally announced our partnership with Full Sail University during our ribbon cutting. We revealed an office space on Full Sail’s campus. The Doghead Simulation’s logo shown brightly against the dark glass of the office windows. Blue and black striped sidewalk guides guests to our door. Once inside, visitors are welcomed by the rumii logo. A chalkboard wall displays Doghead Simulations expertly drawn by Full Sail artists (Scott H. and Traci B.)
No virtual reality office is complete without gear. Tables are pushed to the edges of the room leaving an open space in the middle for people to work and move in virtual reality. Two HTC Vive lighthouses sit in the corners. An Acer MR headset and controllers sit on a desk below a smart TV that displays what those in VR are experiencing.
The day of the ribbon cutting was filled with excitement. The weather in Florida was perfect. The sky was clear and the sun shone. Garry Jones, president, and co-founder of Full Sail University introduced the crowd to the unveiling of the rumii office on the Full Sail University Campus. He then introduced the four co-founders: Mat Chacon, Lily Snyder, Elbert Perez, and Chance Glasco.
Each co-founder expressed their thanks to Full Sail for the meaningful partnership with Doghead Simulations, and what the new office along with the launch of rumii.net meant for both organizations.
Mat Chacon, CEO of Doghead Simulations, praised the Doghead Simulations team and thanked Full Sail saying, “All of us here at Doghead Simulations are really excited to be part of the Full Sail Family. The opening of the U.S. Eastern Headquarters in Orlando, Florida will not only allow us to grow across the U.S., but will be a launching pad for the rest of the world.”
The four co-founders along with Garry Jones, Isis Jones, CIO at Full Sail University, and the mayor of Winter Park, FL, Steve Leary, cut the ribbon to the cheer from the crowd.
For the Doghead Team, the most exciting part was giving Full Sail students and staff a chance to try rumii (available at rumii.net) first hand. Students lined down the sidewalk to enter the virtual world of collaboration. Doghead team members Will Fitzgerald and Justin Gallo virtually walked students and staff through the features in rumii. Amanda Sweaton ran the demos from the office. The biggest impact rumii had on ribbon cutting guests was how real it felt to talk to and interact with others inside rumii’s virtual world. Some said they were skeptics of VR until they saw rumii avatars turn their heads, blink, and talk with opening and closing of the avatar’s mouth. Hand gestures and movements are so natural, people forget they are in virtual reality.
We are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication our team has shown to each other and the company in the past year and a half. We strongly believe that we are changing the world for the better by improving the way people collaborate.
Full Sail University’s partnership with our company shows the value of virtual reality technology and our software for education and the enterprise. Thank you Full Sail for your unwavering support in our team and our mission!
Announcing our partnership with Full Sail, opening our U.S. Eastern Headquarters, and launching rumii.net are huge steps for our startup. We have come a long way from pitching our prototype of rumii in Beijing, China over a year ago.
However, we are only just getting started. This ribbon cutting has only motivated us to push harder. We can’t wait to show you what we come up with next.